Tuesday, June 29, 2010


This seems to be the summer of storms. For the 2nd time in a week, our power went out, this time here in Chicago midweek. It only lasted 4 hours as opposed to 24 like last weekend in Michigan. And it was bedtime, so no big deal. This post illustrates all the changes in the sky that my daughter caught on camera on her drive home, heading west to Chicago from the lake Sunday night.
All of you sweet girls comment on how relaxing the lake must be, but let me tell you a secret: it can be very hard work. This weekend was big time clean up, almost like a spring cleaning in preparation for summer guests. Emily came up with boyfriend Mike and they worked their bums off. Emily has more energy that I ever had and she works fast but thoroughly. We have all hardwood and stone floors except for the two guestrooms. She swept, vacuumed and washed all the floors, dusted and cleaned all the windows and washed all the sheets and comforters. Sunday she helped The Husband clean out the garage.

I cleaned the baths and bedrooms and cooked our meals. The Husband cleaned up the boat and the wave runners. One of them won't start so we are going up Thursday night to take it to the marina first thing Friday morning. We managed to take a boat ride in between all the cleaning and cooking.
Sunday night The Husband and I took a ride on the boat at the same time that Emily was on her way home, snapping these pictures. We literally were watching the same thing. It is so beautiful being on the lake when the sun is slipping over the horizon. The water sparkles like a million diamonds, indeed that is why it is called Diamond Lake. I don't think I ever mentioned that.
And here is a picture Emily took arriving in Chicago just over the Indiana border. I've always wanted to go to Arizona or New Mexico to see the beautiful sunsets, but I think we have some spectacular ones here in the Midwest.

Next weekend is going to be a blast with family and friends visiting. Saturday night there will be a a great big fireworks display off the island. Everyone goes out on their boat and anchors to watch the big show after sunset. What do all of you do on the 4th?

I'm so glad you stopped by. I know I will have some fun pictures next week. Wishing you all a safe and fun 4th of July! :-)


myletterstoemily said...

such gorgeous sunsets! you definitely
rival arizona's.

i know what you mean about hard work
at a lake house. the spider webs!!

we have a tiny mountain home, and it
always feels like playing house to me.
. . . in comparison to my other one!!

Lorrie said...

I'm chuckling Jane, because I remember someone we know who has a lake house saying about the work and maintenance they have to do, "It's not like the movie 'On Golden Pond' where all you have to do is take the dust covers off the furniture and vacation begins." I'm sure that at times it's hard to relax at all because as the owner you always see something that needs to be cleaned or fixed, and nobody else is going to do it if you don't.

Barb said...

Hi Janie, wonderful pictures. I understand about the hard work at a lake house. Boy, do I? I have laundry coming out my ears. When I see Ron's face...it is worth it though.

Take care with the storms....I am crossing my fingers and toes with Florida and the summer. Ha.

Hugs, Barb ♥

Dana and Daisy said...

we've been thinking of trading in our cabin for a lake house, but I wonder how much more work it will be. Our cabin is pretty easy going on us. although it too is extra work that no one ever thinks about. I used to think I would let family and friends use it anytime they wanted but now after the work involved I think they ought to offer to pitch in if they really want to use it. At least take the sheets to the laundromat before they leave! ha!

The Summer Kitchen Girls said...

Hey Jane! We sure have had our share of storms this year, haven't we? We have a cottage at Put-in-Bay, and we understand all of that work of a second "home"!
Just think, you'll get to relax at some point!! Ha!
Just to let you know, I added the info about freezing the ice cream, and yes, in the ice cream freezer - thanks for bringing my attention to that - we might have had some discouraged ice cream fans with that one!!

blueberries in the fields said...

hello there dear jane, i can understand spending time at your lake is not always vacation time. another house to take care of demands house chores on the double. i have a hard time keeping my own house clean. :) wishing you a very happy and fun 4th of July. we are having our 1st of july this week end at the marina. The owners are throwing out a big supper with strawberry shortcake ( yummy ) for dessert. we are expecting a hot day sailing and having fun with the girls. thanks so much for dropping by, hope i could take you sailing with me ^^
monique xoxo

Paula ~ castleandcottagesigns said...

Beautiful photos Jane! Sounds like alot of work...my parents had a summer home and I remember the amount of work it was all too well:)
Enjoy your 4th...if I'm lucky I'll be joining family in the Outer Banks, NC...a much needed vacation!

Unknown said...

Stormy skies are so beautiful but here in the midwest they can be so serious and scary too. Hope you are done with power outages. Interesting note, we have a Valparaiso in Nebraska. I guess there aren't enough names for each state to have all original ones, lol.


Penny said...

Great pictures of the sky. Glad you will be on the lake for the fourth of July too. We have fireworks on Lake Lure and the boat traffic is like bumper to bumper but oh so fun!

Rebecca said...

Those pics are incredible! Thanks for sharing these with us. Have a lovely day!


Theresa said...

I am constantly taking pictures of the sky and all of it's beauty! Your pics are gorgeous, we have beautiful skies here too:)

Have a blessed day and rest up for the weekend!


Gypsy Heart said...

Photos are great! I can only imagine how much work is involved to go there to "relax" ~ :-) Will be anxious to see the 4th of July pics. Seeing fireworks over water is delightful ~ just love it! Have a great time and hopefully, you can enjoy along with your guests.


Brenda Pruitt said...

Your daughter may turn out to be a blogger, given her penchant for photography! I never seem to capture sunsets, but these are truly beautiful. I never do anything on the 4th. Since childhood I've hated loud noises, so I stay close to home.

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

Hi Jane,
We had some of those nasty storms too and lightening like crazy.
Looks like your daughter snapped some beautiful pics! And what a worker she is! Can you send her my way, that's just awesome!
Sounds like you have a great week-end ahead of you. Enjoy!
Big Hugs,

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Hi, Janie! I know what you mean about the lake house because we had that all the time with the St. Augustine house until we put it on the market! Girl, I felt like I was running a B&B. So if it gets too bad, put a sign on it! LOL! Just kidding, but we basically stopped entertaining there when we put it on the market. However, having it off limits means that you have to do all of that major work if company does come (numerous times a year), and sometimes you find out that something is acting kooky as in before I had guests this spring.

For this year's Fourth, we are being lazy. Mr. Magpie is TIRED, and I am, too. We are going to have a quiet time, just the two of us with some movies. It's too hot to party. Everyone is huddled inside with the AC. We "might" go watch fireworks if it's not too hot. But we want some chill out time.

Hope your Fourth is fun! We've had major thunderstorms here, but it doesn't rain a drop in St. Augustine. It threatens with pitch black skies and thunder, but then nada. Thirty five miles up or down the road, it is raining cats and dogs. Go figure!


Sheila :-)

Marigene said...

Awesome pictures...and yes, the southwest has spectacular sunrises and sunsets, that is one thing I really miss about not living there.
I would love a young person to help me clean...getting old is for the birds!

Julie Marie said...

Hello Jane... I still think your lake home sounds wonderful, cleaning and all! The sunsets are spectacular and the thought of a boatride at night is so enticing... love the name of the lake too... looking forward to your 4th of July photos... xoxo Julie Marie

Pondside said...

A summer house is always a lot of work, but somehow the fun times always make one forget the drudgery! I hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend - is there anything like an American fourth of July?

Sandi (Meme) said...

I feel your pain! We stay at our lake house everyweekend, and have visitors quite often. There's always something that needs done, isn't there? Have a blessed week. Sandi

Robin@DecoratingTennisGirl said...

We had some major lightening the other night! The pics are great. Don't work too hard at the lake house, but I know you do enjoy your time there :)

Sissie's Shabby Cottage said...

Hi Jane,
What a wonderful, beautiful place to have a family gathering.
I'm sure your lake house is lots of work to prepare for guests. Having two homes isn't easy, but you are so fortunate to have a vacation home.

Lovely sunset photos.


Debbiedoos said...

Gorgeous photos. We live in a Lake community and I must say I love it. I get nervous when the boating is active, as my Motto is safety is no accident...of course my friends poke fun at me. We do have a blast out there as well. You sound like you really enjoy it.

Melanie said...

The sunsets are beautiful. Sounds like you were really busy but you will get to enjoy the holiday weekend:)

Charlene said...

I ALWAYS LOVE SKY PHOTOS! I am such a sucker for a beautiful sunset or sunrise. Clouds are soooooooooo interesting. Thanks for sharing these because they were beautiful. HUGS! Charlene

Debbie said...

Beautiful pictures Jane! We saw some very interesting clouds over the weekend too...some were kind of scarey. We ended up in a tornado warning.
I'm glad you got to enjoy some time out on your boat over the weekend.
Hope you have a blast over the 4th!!!

Unknown said...

Beautiful pictures!!!!

Unknown said...

The move is doing well. We have movers on July 1st. But we have 1 month to move the rest. Hubby is going to be gone a lot so i am happy we are moving early. We will have a yard in the rental. So i will do some gardening...Makes me happy to think about it :)

Unknown said...

Your sunsets look lovely to me. Your 4th of July plans sound wonderful. We will probably have a BBQ with the girls.

Have a wonderful time.

Julie@beingRUBY said...

Hi Jane
Sorry I've been so absent lately.. too much craziness in my life at present and packing to move house..

Lovely to see you at back at your lakehouse.. they certainly spells summer... Love all your photos from your New Orleans trip too... Have a wonderful week and wonderful 4th.. xxx Julie

Linda (Nina's Nest) said...

Beautiful pics, Jane. And the sunset - wow! Also loved the lake garden in the previous post...charming! Is it as hot up there as it is down south? Linda

savvycityfarmer said...

hopefully we're free and clear here for a week or so ...
lovn' these no humidity days
just want the evenings back up in the 80's
(feels too much like Fall)

FEDERICA said...

LOve these photos!
Hope you're having a great day!

Lynn @The Vintage Nest said...

Oh Jane, watching the fireworks is like magic and doing it over water is especially magical. We are very lucky and will get to see them out over the ocean. I can't wait. Happy 4th to you too.

P.s. I have told you before my son lives in Chicago and he has gone to the basement twice in the last week with tornado warnings. He said one storm that came through just tore up his neighborhood.

Signing Out said...

Such beautiful photos, Jane, especially the sunset. I love hearing about your lake house; it must be so peaceful there. I am hoping we can find a nice lake house when we retire.

Kathysue said...

Hi Jane, It sounds like a lot of work but I am sure it is all worth it to be able to relax and enjoy the lake. Beautiful images of the sky. Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment today. I have been on a vacay so I am just now getting into the swing of things. Always so good to see you there, Kathysue

Jane said...

Your daughter snapped some beautiful pictures.
It sounds like you all were VERY busy at the lake house getting it ready for the weekend. I hope after spending last weekend doing all the clean-up you can sit back, relax and enjoy the holiday.

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

Hi Jane,
We are heading to my brothers home near the twin cities for the 4th. He has a pool party and family get-together planned. And, our little town has a celebration on Saturday that we will probably go to.
Sounds like you will have a wonderful time! Boy, summer flies doesn't it! And with Katie pregnant it seems I am always running with her for this and that. She is in the nesting mode right now. My goodness she is looking big! She has put on the right amount of weight but her stomache looks like she swallowed a mini basketball. hehe.
It seems like she was just a baby herself. I am getting used to it, but at 20 she seems so young still.
Have a wonderful weekend,

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

Oh Jane,
I almost forgot. On the blog book, I got a $75 gift certificate to use. I got about 6 months of my blog posts with that. If I had printed the whole thing it would have been about $250. So, I just kept it in the amount I won.

Lynn said...

My nephew just moved to Chicago. The very first night the tornado sirens went off and he had to go to a basement. Scary for a California boy.
We live close to Shasta Lake so we go there and just come home. I rather like it that way now that I am officially OLD!!!!

Sixty-Fifth Avenue said...

We have had some weird weather! But the flowers and grass look great.
With all your hard work done, I hope you enjoy the long weekend!

Unknown said...

Gorgeous sunset photos. We don't really get sunsets like that here until late Sept and Oct.

Rettabug said...

I was just on my way over to your *house* to see what you've been up to & bing...I get a message from you!
Outstandingly beautiful photos of the sky. I must try doing that type of shot very soon.

I know what you mean about the upkeep of two houses. ugh! That's why we now RENT for the few OH winter months in FL. So much easier!

Have a Happy 4th of July!
The Gazebo House

My Grama's Soul said...

Beautiful sunsets......and I so love a summer storm!!



Cass @ That Old House said...

Oh I understand about the hard work involved with a second home. Especially a home at the water -- lake or sea shore. Even just remembering WHAT you have in WHICH house can be a challenge!

I remember how hard my Mom worked at our summerhouses -- 4 kids, no hot water, no showers, and a washing machine out under an arbor of laurel bushes and a clothesline! None of the conveniences of the year-round house. Thankfully she loved it!

I left my favorite down pillow at the beach house back in May and have been missing it ever since! Such trauma....

Lovely sunsets -- amazing colors and -- well, just amazing!

xinex said...

Your sunsets are truly spectacular, Janie. Beautiful photos! How lucky of you to have an efficient Emily help you. Can I borrow her? :-) We are going to Destin for the long weekend. John has a meeting and we are joining my daughter and son in law there and AJ will go home with them. I hope I don;t get too depressed when coming back cause we will be w/o AJ. Have a Happy Independence Day!..Christine

The Muse said...

spectacular images! fireworks will pale in comparison, no doubt!

entirely understand the work about the lake house...no matter where they are...houses need care~ :)somehow, it doesn't feel quite as tedious though :)

enjoy your holiday !

Maggie said...

Stunning sky pix, I'm sure all the hard work was worth it in the end, have a great 4th July weekend.

Paula@SweetPea said...

Beautiful sunset pictures! Nature really is an amazing thing.

You guys worked really hard getting your house ready for the 4th! I hope that since you did your hard work last weekend, you can kick back and relax this coming weekend.

Susan Freeman said...

Your photos make me homesick! I spoke to my Aunt and she told me all about your storms. I can remember growing up on the North Shore and it often seemed like we have tornado warnings every day in the summer. Even though the weather can be rough sometimes, it's still home to me. I hope for your sake that the rest of this summer is clear and calm.

Susan and Bentley

PS: Enjoyed seeing the Valparaiso sign. I used to date a guy who went to college at Valpo and I spent many a weekend commuting from my college in Lake Forest.

Beth at Aunties said...

Oh, it sounds like you have everything ready for a spectcular fourth. The water and the fireworks sounds so beautiful. The sunsets are gorgeous.
Enjoy a wonderful weekend!~♥

Auntie sezzzzzz... said...

So nice to hear of a *kid,* who helps out, without complaining about it. :-) Lucky you!

And beautiful photos!

Beth said...

What beautiful pictures! And yes, the weather can be so insane sometimes! Fun to capture all of those changes :). Happy 4th to you!


Hi Jane, I love the pictures your daughter captured on her drive. I'm sure having a lake home is alot of work, no one realizes the work that has to be done when you open it up for the season. I hope you have a wonderful 4th of July!

Shellbelle said...

When we had the house at the beach it began to feel like a hotel with all the company in and out all the time. Sure it was great fun, but I was sometimes too exhausted to really enjoy it. I try to remember that when I go to visit someone now. No matter how much I tell them not to fuss, they always do, but a basket full of muffins, bagels, jams and jellies gets me invited back every time!

We've been having daily storms come through, but the power has stayed on. But I can relate to the whole camping-style thing, we lost power for four days during the 2004 hurricanes.

Happy 4th! I hope the weekend stays rain free for you and yours!

Debbiedoos said...

I could have sworn I was following you already...oh well, now you will come up on my blog roll. Enjoy your 4th as well, be safe and have fun, that is what we plan on doing. We will not go out on the Lake that day, as it is insane.....

Unknown said...

Oh! I know it is a lot of work. We go visit my cousin every summer at the Lake of the Ozarks. They have a great place but part of the bargain is that everyone chips in before the weekend is over. They shut the place down and everything has to be taken care before they leave. You should do the same thing. No one is a guest at the lake. Just a thought...
Have a great 4th!! :)

Anita Diaz said...

Oh that sounds like a lovely weekend--not the cleaning one though! That's what we have been doing here in preparation for my mom's family this weekend. there are all those little unfinished projects that have to be finished. Thanks for stopping by!! Have a great 4th!

Laura said...

Hey Jane-
Why does relaxing involve work?
I guess it just does.
I bet you are a wonderful hostess.
Thank you for your sweet visits to my blog-
You are the best.

White Spray Paint

Deb said...

Gorgeous photos Jane! Lots of storms here too ~ but today as we celebrate Canada Day it was sunny, warm and beautiful. We watched the fireworks from our back porch :-)
Your weekend plans sound wonderful as you celebrate the 4th - Enjoy ♥

Lou Cinda @ Tattered Hydrangeas said...

Ahhhhh I love the lake at sunset too! We have a boat and a waverunner and we have friends that have a boat and a lake house, so lucky us right? We are going there this weekend, as we do most weekends. Their place is only 30 minutes from our house, so that is also a great thing! We anchor the boat out on the lake and watch the fireworks too! I will think of you, doing the same thing, just in a different part of the US!

Happy 4th to you my friend! I hope you have a blast with your friends and family! Get it? Blast! fireworks....

okay, going to bed now....I am caught up...

Lou Cinda ;)

Chari at Happy To Design said...

Hi sweet lady...

Ohhh...what beautiful photos! You'll have to tell your daughter how much we enjoyed them! Thank you for sharing them with us, Jane! My friend, I'm sure that your lake house is alot to keep up with...but what pleasure you get in return! I always enjoy your posts when you share with us your beautiful lake house and gardens! I lived on Lake Corpus Chrisit (about 90 mls. south of San Antonio) for about 20 yrs. I really enjoyed the lake and living on the water. Hmmm...now I live on the prairie...what a change! Hehe!

Well my friend, I just wanted to come by to say hello and to tell you how much I enjoyed your visit to my master bedroom redo, yesterday! Thank you for the sweet note! It's always a pleasure to have you stop in!!!

A Happy 4th of July to you and your family, my friend!

Chari @Happy To Design

Heaven's Walk said...

Hi Janie! Beautiful sunset photos! I know, we've been having some tremendously scary storms here in Michigan, too. Totally unlike last year when we didn't have one.

Having houseguests always helps me get things done that never seem to get finished, you know? lol! Real motivation and a kick in the hiney for me.... lol!

Have a wonderfully relaxing weekend and enjoy those fireworks!

xoxo laurie@heavenswalk

Unknown said...

G'eve, Jane ~ What a gorgeous set of pictures.

You are going to have a fabulous time & the hard work will be long forgotten ... enjoy all.

Happy 4th.
TTFN ~ Marydon

Penny from Enjoying The Simple Things said...

Beautiful sky shots! I know it is not easy keeping up with two homes...especially when one is closed up for periods of time....

Elaine said...

Your daughter's sunset photos are gorgeous! How nice that she did so much cleaning for you.

I hope you don't have any more power failures. It's nice at first to have
candlelight in the evening but then it gets old!

Hope the rest of your stay at the lake is wonderful. I have to go back to work tomorrow, boo hoo!

Unknown said...

Would you please huff & puff those storms our way, please? Two + weeks of unusually horrible heat wave ... today 106.

Your pictures are super, Jane, you captured it beautifully.

Have a lovely summer's eve ~
TTFN ~ Hugs, Marydon

Bettie from Southern Thresholds said...

What a swell daughter you have. You must be so proud of her. Loved your photography skills. Gorgeous sunsets and a peaceful lake. How wonderful is this? Have a great summer.